Customs officials at the Anna International Airport here, have seized diamonds worth Rs. 2.25 crore and arrested a Malaysian national.
Based on specific information that precious stones were likely to be smuggled from Malaysia, special vigil was maintained at the airport by the officers from Friday night.
Azmal Khan Bin Nagor Mera, 48, a Malaysian national, who arrived from Kuala Lumpur by Batik Airlines, was intercepted by the Customs officers at the exit of the Customs arrival hall on suspicion of carrying contraband/ precious stones. He was seen walking hurriedly in a suspicious manner.
On being questioned, he gave evasive replies. He was taken for personal search along with his baggage. Two white bundles, found concealed in his innerwear, were recovered.
Hidden in cooker
Further, on searching his checked-in luggage, a brown stroller bag, a multi-function cooker was found. On dismantling the cooker, eight bundles, wrapped in adhesive tape, were found concealed at the bottom.
On cutting the 10 bundles open, 55 white mini ziplock pouches, with precious stones appearing to be diamonds, were found concealed, and were recovered.
On being questioned to whom the diamonds were to be delivered, he said he was supposed to hand over the diamonds to an unknown person outside the airport, who would identify him. The passenger was taken outside the airport and watched from a distance, but even after considerable amount of time, no one approached him to receive the consignment.
“A government-approved valuer was called to examine and certify the nature and value of the precious stones. On examination of the same, he certified the stones to be diamonds of different cut, shapes, clarity and colour, totally weighing 2,996 carat and valued at Rs. 2.25 crore. The diamonds were seized under the Customs Act, 1962. The passenger was arrested,” said a press release from the Customs Commissioner at the airport.